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How to answer key estate plan questions

One issue that Ohio residents may face when creating an estate plan is who to turn to in case of an emergency. This question may prevent individuals from creating wills and trusts or granting potentially necessary powers of attorney. Making things more difficult is the fact that there are no set rules when it comes to choosing an agent under a power of attorney or a guardian for a minor child.

To help guide the decision making process, it may be a good idea to think about which people have the skills needed to fill a given role. For instance, someone who has been appointed as an agent under a financial power of attorney should be fiscally literate enough to make educated decisions on the principal's behalf. In many cases, individuals have already chosen a family member to fill such a role even if that person may be addicted to shopping or has gone through bankruptcy.

It is important to note that those who are given this authority or asked to fill other roles do not have to be family members. They can be friends or a trusted entity. Ideally, people who have been chosen will know about that fact well before the principal gets sick or passes away.

Contacting an attorney may be an appropriate step for those who are thinking about creating a will or updating other already existing estate plan documents. Legal counsel may be able to help individuals consider their options as it relates to naming trustees, guardians for children or beneficiaries. If an individual already has an existing will, an attorney may be able to review it and ensure that it reflects the testator's current wishes.

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